FAS sacks Takayuki Nishigaya as Singapore coach

Takayuki Nishigaya has been sacked as coach of Singapore after an unimpressive 21-month spell that saw him record just eight wins in 21 matches. Supakit Wisetanuphong/MB Media/Getty Images

SINGAPORE -- The Football Association of Singapore have announced the dismissal of Takayuki Nishigaya as the head coach of the men's national team.

Nishigaya, who was installed at the helm in April 2022, had followed in the footsteps of his well-liked Japanese compatriot Tatsuma Yoshida, who became a fan favourite after leading Singapore to the semifinals of the 2020 AFF Championship.

Nonetheless, Nishigaya failed to enjoy similar success and only tasted eight victories from 21 matches in charge for a win percentage of just 38%.

In an official statement released on Monday evening, the FAS attributed his dismissal to the fact that recent performances and results had been "below expectations" -- and stated their belief that "an early transition to a fresh successor would re-energise the team and allow a longer runway ... to prepare for important matches in the next few months and the year-end AFF (Championship)."

The majority of Nishigaya's wins did come against teams placed lower than the Lions in the FIFA world rankings, although he did muster three consecutive wins between September and October last year.

But two defeats to begin the second round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, including a 5-0 rout at the hands of South Korea, intensified the pressure on the 50-year-old.

There was already speculation last November in the wake of Singapore's 3-1 loss to Thailand when Nishigaya was asked if he would still be in charge for the next round of qualifiers in March -- to which he replied with uncertainty.

FAS now have less than two months to appoint a successor before they continue their World Cup qualifying campaign with a double-header against China on March 21 and 26.